Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Work in Progress

Some of you may remember that a very very very long time ago we began plans to renovate a 500 year old property which belongs to my husbands family.

If you walk by the house today this is what you will see.......

The sign says "Do not enter"

But we'll just ignore the sign and take a little peak inside.

They had to completely knock down the stairs in front and rebuild them.

They've reinforced existing doors and windows and knocked through new ones.

In this past week they have taken out the floor between the two levels and completely taken off the old roof.

Now, you can see blue sky from my kitchen!

Seriously, I think it would have been easier to knock the whole thing flat and rebuild it from scratch.

But that would have been no fun!

Hopefully in the next few days they will be putting on the new roof. We've saved every last tile and brick and everything will be re-used where possible. My father-in-law is painstakingly cleaning each individual roof tile to reveal their beautiful colour.

The work is reaching a really exciting stage, where big changes are happening and they are starting to put the puzzle back together again. It's quite incredible how quickly things can move when everything goes according to plan. We have a great team of builders who are doing a fantastic job and my father-in-law is there every day over-seeing the work. For him it's a labour of love, bringing back to life the house he grew up in.

And the next generation is waiting patiently for her new house to be ready!

Happy days!!
Sarah Elizabeth x 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Co-sleeping - sharing my bed with baby

Before I became a mother I read all about the benefits of co-sleeping or bed-sharing. I also read about the dangers. Being a slightly over paranoid kind of person I decided that, although the idea of the 'family bed' sounded nice, that I'd prefer to have my baby sleeping in her own crib where she wouldn't be in danger of me rolling on her or being smothered by the duvet. We bought a Moses basket, I crocheted blankets, hung a mobile above and couldn't wait to put my baby inside.

Needless to say, everything changed once my baby was actually here. After she was born the midwife tucked her carefully into the bed with me where she nursed hungrily for the first time and then fell asleep. After a while I dosed too, waking now and again to check on my sleeping bundle. During my stay in hospital she nursed so frequently that it was just so much easier to keep her in the bed next to me and it felt so natural, it never even really crossed my mind to put her down in the bassinet next to my bed.

When we got home from hospital I put her to sleep in her Moses basket that first night. She looked so small, alone and cold. I lay on the bed next to the basket and watched her sleeping, secretly urging her to wake up so I could cuddle her in my arms again. Inevitably, she did wake up to feed after only an hour or so. I took her into bed with me and there she's been ever since.

We are very careful that we are sleeping safely. We have no blankets or pillows anywhere near her and once she was able to roll we put a bed guard on to stop her rolling off the bed. It feels safe. Safer than having her sleep far away from me. I've researched the topic extensively and there are varying opinions, some reports say that co-sleeping increases the risk of SIDS and others say it reduces it. My mummy instincts tell me I'm doing the right thing.

Of course I worry that I'll still have her in my bed when she's 18, and what happens when we have more kids? Already space is at a premium and I'm not sure how this arrangement would work with more children. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, I relish those precious sleepy snuggles, I certainly appreciate not having to get out of my warm bed for night nursings and I adore the contented look on my daughters face when she wakes, smiling to see me lying next to her.

Wishing you all the sweetest of dreams,
Sarah Elizabeth

PS I want to thank those of you who commented on my last post. You all encourage and inspire me every day and I thank you so much for your kind words on a day when they were greatly needed x x

Saturday, 14 July 2012


It's been so long since I last blogged and I must apologise. I have so many things buzzing around in my head that I want to write about but can never seem to get them into any kind of order. I've considered starting a new blog, a clean page, starting afresh but since I barely find the time to keep one blog going I doubt I'd manage with two! It feels however that this blog doesn't quite 'fit' anymore. It started out as a blog about our home renovation but when that was moving along so slowly it became more about our life here in Italy and bits and pieces of crafty things I did. Now, I've got lots of mummy things I want to blog about such as cloth diapering and baby-led weaning but I'm not sure I want this blog to be all about parenting. I suppose I just need to get back into writing and see where things take me, stop thinking about what people want to read about and just write what I feel like. I think it's a better idea to try and adapt this blog to fit in with my new life rather than trying to start again from scratch. I might consider changing the name though. What do you think? I named my blog after myself when I was starting out as I didn't really know at the time exactly what I was going to blog about. I feel like a change though and would like something that maybe is a bit more descriptive of what I'm all about.

Now for a little Alba update. She is now 9 months old and amazes me more and more every day. I could seriously spend hours just observing her and all her funny little ways. Actually, I do spend hours just observing her which is probably why I don't have so much time for blogging or cleaning my house for that matter. She's a very easy going baby but she does demand my attention a lot, especially when it comes to sleeping. She sleeps in my bed at night and a lot of the time will only nap with me as well. I love all of the baby snuggles but it doesn't leave much time for anything else. I've been tempted to buy various books which seem to have the answer to all kinds of sleep problems but I love having her close to me and value the bond that we have too much to risk breaking it by any kind of sleep training. For now, we're just going with it and hoping that things will sort themselves out eventually.

Finally, here's a picture of the little one with her nonna......

Love to you all, Sarah Elizabeth x x x